The picture above welcomes all who enter a friend’s house. Gazing on the scene yesterday, these lines popped into my head:
Colour of green,Life of peace,A picture serene!
Much later, it struck me – could there be a more appropriate image for the world’s first International Day of Yoga?
Yoga is often misconceived as one of the best ways to maintain physical fitness.
Personally, I have always regarded yoga as a way of life – as much in the mind as the body.
By that, I don’t simply mean breathing exercises to relax tense muscles and quieten the mind. That helps, yes, but the relief is momentary.
To my mind, the essence of yoga lies in possessing a right worldview and philosophy of life. Because it is that, more than anything else, which will help lead a life of peace and equanimity and make one a master yogi.
Much like the world’s great spiritual leaders – be it Muhammad the Prophet, Jesus Christ, Lord Ram, Swami Vivekananda, the Buddha, Mahavir Jain, Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King.
All these leaders had a simple message for the world – peace through tolerance, clean living and compassion.
It’s that philosophy that made all of them a Master Yogi (yogi means a person who has attained a high level of spiritual insight and self-realisation).
So, learn yoga and practice it by all means. But also remember, on this first International Yoga Day, that to become a Master Yogi you need to attain self-realisation and a realisation of universal principles of life.
Yes, that’s right. Yoga is based on universal principles and belongs to all of humanity.
The discipline should not be politicised or hijacked by any one race or religion. To substantiate my point, let me ask, “Don’t sciences such as mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry belong to the entire world? Why should yoga then be any different?”
If any one individual is uncomfortable with certain aspects of yoga such as the surya namaskar, let them not practice that. But let that also not stop them from practising the principles of yoga otherwise.
Similarly, there is no obligation to say Om or Aum. But allow me to suggest that one could always benefit from the healing nature of the Om sound by saying Ameen or Amen.
The sound of the words, Ameen, Amen, Om, Aum, heals and frees a person because they gather the energy forces of creation, preservation and transformation within the body and mind. You can read more about how these sounds achieve this almost miraculous transformation in an earlier post Om and Freed!
Or, you can watch the TEDx talk by Khurshed Batliwala on All About Om:
May I also suggest you read this marvellous post by Pallavi Prasad on Yoga: A way of life*. To interest you into reading Pallavi’s post, here’s how she introduces her piece, which is also a fitting conclusion to my post on The Master Yogi:
“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.” –B.K.S. Iyengar
#yoga #yogi #InternationalDayofYoga
Featured Image Credit: A Master Yogi – Image of a friend’s house foyer by Lata Subramanian.
*Pallavi Prasad. Yoga: A way of life!